Few fictional characters have captured the imaginations of readers quite like Harry Potter. This young wizard was and still is the driving force behind a series of books, the films to match, as well as spin-off works that are still hitting the open market.

But when was the first Harry Potter book published?

The answer: June 26, 1997. It was on that date that “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” first became available in the United Kingdom.

American readers may be a little confused. That title sounds familiar, but the first Harry Potter book was “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” right?

The first Harry Potter book was “Philosopher’s Stone,” but it was translated from its original British English into American English when it first appeared in the United States more than a year later — in September 1998. That translation even affected the title, swapping out “Philosopher” for “Sorcerer.”

Yes, even English-to-English translations can lead to drastic changes.


List of Harry Potter Books (With Publication Date)

After “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” became a huge hit in the United Kingdom, it quickly moved to the United States. Here’s a list of the Harry Potter books along with their U.S. publication dates:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone — September 1998

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets — June 2, 1999

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban — Sept. 9, 1999

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire — July 8, 2000

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix — June 21, 2003

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince — July 16, 2005

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — July 21, 2007


One of the Greatest Series in Literature History

It would take too long to list out all of the honors earned and records broken by the Harry Potter books. Author J.K. Rowling is a brilliant writer who crafts an unbelievably compelling world of magic and fascination.

And don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a “kids” book series. Readers of all ages have fallen in love with the Harry Potter books and the characters that come alive within their pages.

Use the links above to purchase any of the books if you’re interested in learning more about this incredible literary phenomenon.

Have you read the Harry Potter books? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, or send us a message directly through our contact page.